The Los Angeles City Council voted 13-0 Tuesday to ease restrictions on when a “shelter crisis” can be declared in the City to assist our homeless population.
Under an ordinance proposal that was heard in Councilmember José Huizar’s Planning committee, the City Council voted today to approve an ordinance that removed the previously required City of Los Angeles’ emergency shelter limits: including nighttime shelters only; limit to 120 days a year, and that shelters operate only during winter (Nov. 1-March 31).
Tuesday’s vote strikes that language and broadens the definition of shelters. A future vote is expected to expand the current law to more zoning designations and thereby cover more areas of the City than have been covered in the current law.
“Today’s vote gives the City of Los Angeles more flexibility in assisting our homeless neighbors in real-time when they are in crisis mode, which our previous restrictions did not always reflect,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “It is consistent with our Homelessness Strategic Plan and but one step of many we must take to adequately address homelessness now and in the future.”
According to the latest Homeless Count by the LA Homeless Services Authority, there are currently more than 28,000 people experiencing homelessness in the City of LA, 75% of whom sleep unsheltered on any given night.